As N-Judah trains zoomed by Irving Street at 8th Avenue Wednesday morning, San Francisco city officials celebrated completion of nearby pedestrian and Muni improvements two years in the making.
The $21.3 million project, managed by the Department of Public Works in partnership with the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency and Public Utilities Commission, included 95 new curb ramps for better accessibility, four transit bulb-outs to make it safer for Muni passengers to board trains and two pedestrian bulb-outs to shorten the pedestrian crossing distance.
Director of Public Works Mohammed Nuru said:
“The project, which expands all the way from Arguello (Boulevard) to 19th Avenue and Irving Street, will improve the quality of life and transit services of this diverse neighborhood, which serves families, students, merchants and tourists alike.”
Over the weekend, the SFMTA moved one inbound and one outbound stop on the N-Judah at 9th Avenue and Irving Street to the new transit bulb-outs.
Interim SFMTA Director of Transportation Tom Maguire said the bulb-out was an important change for N-Judah Muni riders who can now offboard at the sidewalk instead of into dangerous traffic. During Wednesday’s event, Maguire proudly noted as riders used the new, safe sidewalk area to get on and off the trains.
“The streetscape is beautiful but when I look at it I just don’t see beautiful planters and trees, I also see safety.”
“This is the experience we want for Muni riders.
Mayor London Breed, who used to represent the Inner Sunset as a former supervisor, recalled spending her time in the neighborhood. Breed said:
“This is like really a jewel in San Francisco.”
The mayor also thanked merchants and residents who endured two years of construction as she said:
“A lot of the promises made to this community are finally happening and it was because of your patience.”
Part of the extensive project included significant but concealed underground infrastructure work completed by the PUC, said City Administrator Naomi Kelly. The Emergency Firefighting Water System was strengthened to increase water pressure during large-scale fires and aging sewer and water main lines were replaced, Kelly said.
Supervisor Vallie Brown, who currently represents the Inner Sunset, said her office, residents and merchants are working together to develop a curb management pilot program to improve the parking situation around businesses and near homes. In part, the project will look at ways to accommodate business customers and food delivery drivers who need parking for 30 minutes or less as they attend to business.
Brown said the curb management program has been allocated $75,000 of The City’s budget and according to the SFMTA website, proposals will be presented to and voted on by the board later this year with implementation expected in early 2020.